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New UK strategy to match world class performance in organ donation – Poots

Health Minister, Edwin Poots today launched a new strategy to achieve world class performance in organ donation Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020 a UK Strategy.
Thursday, 11 July 2013

The strategy, which was developed by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) in conjunction with all four UK Health Administrations, also has the backing of the other UK Health Ministers.

It sets the agenda for increasing organ donation rates to world class standards over the next seven years and builds on success in increasing deceased donation rates by 50% since 2008.

The aims of the strategy are to:

  • Improve consent/authorisation rates to organ donation to above 80% (currently 57% nationally);
  • Bring the UK deceased donor rate up to 26 per million of the population (currently 19pmp nationally);
  • Transplant 5% more of the organs offered from consented, actual donors (currently 94% of actual donors result in at least one donation); and
  • Increase the number of patients receiving a transplant to 74 per million of the population (currently 49pmp nationally).

The Minister said: “This is a brave and ambitious strategy that will give more people a realistic chance of receiving a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant. Despite recent success we know more can and must be done to address the shortage of donated organs across the UK.

“This strategy was developed by NHSBT in collaboration with my Department, the other UK Health Departments and all those involved in organ donation and transplantation including professional bodies, patient groups, transplant surgeons and the wider health service.”

The strategy calls on everyone in society to act to make organ donation a normal part of end of life care thereby saving and improving the lives of others.

The Minister continued: “I recently announced my intention to establish public attitudes towards organ donation and this work is now underway. Once the outcome of this work is known, which is expected to be later this year, I will decide on the next steps to increase organ donation in Northern Ireland.

“In the meantime, we all have the opportunity to help others in need and save lives by discussing your wish to donate an organ with family and friends and by joining the Organ Donor Register.”

Notes to editors:

  1. A summary of the strategy is available to download on the NHS website.
  2. To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit the Organ Donation NHS website or call 0300 123 2323 or text DONATE to 62323. It’s also important to talk to those closest to you about your organ donation wishes.
  3. For queries on the strategy, please contact the NHSBT Press Office on pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk or call 01923 367600.
  4. Media queries about this press release to DHSSPS Information Office on 028 905 20575, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.